Two days after he was sworn in as the chief minister of Delhi in front of a record audience at the Ramlila Maidan, Arvind Kejriwal took charge of Delhi today and chaired a meeting of his cabinet ministers.
Kejriwal, who led the Aam Aadmi Party to a colossal victory in the national capital on Feb 10, wrote on popular micro-blogging platform Twitter that he feels ‘much better’ after his fever subsided. The AAP leader, over the past couple of days, was suffering from fever and had remarked at the Ramlila gathering that he had taken medicine for the same. He also tweeted that he had re-started his morning walk and Yoga.
Fever gone.Feeling much better. Restarted daily morn walk n yoga, which had stopped due to elections.My 1st day in office 2day. Do pray 4 me
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 16, 2015
Kick-starting his governance agenda for Delhi, Kejriwal has already asked all government departments to prepare presentations on how the party’s 70-point action plan, which it had listed in its manifesto, can be implemented. This decision of the AAP leader was seen as shadowing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had similarly asked his secretaries to prepare presentations shortly after he was voted to power in the 2014 general elections.
As Kejriwal takes office today along with his six-member cabinet, we take a look at the top 5 priorities he has on his table.
1. Water issues – As the summer season approaches, solving Delhi’s water scarcity problems should be Kejriwal’s number one priority. The AAP, in its manifesto, promises a free lifeline of up to 20 kilolitres for every household along with metered connections by the Delhi Jal Board. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also told reporters that providing clean drinking water and building a proper sewage system is important. Reviving non-functional drinking water plants in Dwarka and Bawana along with delegating with Haryana to draw water from Munak canal must take preference for the new government.
2. Power – All through its campaign, Kejriwal and his coterie of leaders have relentlessly sought to convince voters that the party would cut their ‘inflated’ electricity bills by half. Time has come for the new AAP government to fulfill its promises. PM Modi on Sunday in remarks interpreted as a reference perhaps to Kejriwal said that political parties in states that do not generate their own electricity always make promises of providing free electricity during election campaigns. Modi suggested that solar pumps should be used so as to access groundwater for irrigation for farmers. Should Kejriwal go the solar way too to satisfy Delhi’s power problems?
3. Healthcare – While posh private hospitals have mushroomed in the national capital especially in south Delhi, the outer villages in areas like Bawana have struggled to get basic healthcare facilities. Kejriwal must ensure in the first six months of his term that he is serious about fulfilling his party’s promise of 40,000 new hospital beds, including 4,000 specialised maternity beds. More primary health centres and dispensaries are the need of the hour in Delhi. Kejriwal and his health minister Satyendra Jain must put their heads together to improve Delhi’s dawdling sex ratio figures.
4. Illegal colonies – Regularization of colonies and stoppage to indiscriminate demolition of jhuggi-jhopdis will figure among Kejriwal’s top priorities as he takes office. Ironically, as he took oath at the Ramlila Maidan on Saturday, Kejriwal’s residence saw a demonstration by slum residents in Shahdara who alleged of indiscriminate break-down of their houses. In-situ rehabilitation of slum dwellers and regularization of colonies within one year of coming to power were promised by the AAP. The party’s objective must be to ensure sweeping initiatives in order to make the national capital a slum-free city.
5. Women security – Safety and security of women in Delhi was one of the issues that figured in Kejriwal’s oath-taking speech on Saturday. The AAP leader should be compelled to ensure stringent administrative measures in order to bring down the city’s infamous record of rape cases. Compulsory registration of cases by the Delhi police, adequate street lighting, ensuring last-mile connectivity and installation of CCTVs are some of the solutions that the AAP promises to bring in.